Saving the world isn’t an easy task. However, even the smallest of actions can have a big collective impact. Recently, the United Nations released an article ‘A Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World’ which serves as a splendid reminder that each and every one of us has the power to make change and contribute to the more efficient world we wish to see. A drop in an ocean but an ocean made of drops nonetheless. The message is clear - change begins with you!
From the comfort of your couch to the comfy cushions at a cafe, below we have included some easy breezy tips and tricks of how you can lighten your ecological footprint in your everyday life. Who knows, maybe you will improve you own well-being — as well as our planet along the way.
1. Save electricity
Saving electricity saves resources and saves you money. So turn off the light switches, let your hair and clothes dry naturally, turn off your appliances at the switch when you are done. 90 per cent of the energy used when running your washing machine is used to heat water. Choosing to wash only a full load of clothes with cold water is moving in the direction of being more ecologically effective.
2. Use less water
Here in North Queensland, freshwater isn’t as abundant as our actions may translate, so we need to do what we can to save as much of it as we can. Take short showers, turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth and don’t bother rinsing the dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.
3. Move away from plastic
We can’t wait for governments to #banthebag, we need to take responsibility to reduce plastic consumption into our own hands. Plastic debris ends up in our waterways & in the bellies of our marine life. Mackay neighbours the most beautiful and diverse reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef, and we need to do what we can to protect it. Buy minimally packaged foods. Carry your own water bottle, coffee cup and cutlery and of course remember to take your own bags to the supermarket.
4. Shop local
Shopping local is thinking global. Supporting local business and growers helps keep local people employed and helps prevent trucks and planes driving far distances. Did you know that every Wednesday morning Mackay’s Greater Whitsunday Market exhibits a variety of only local products and produce?
5. Ditch the paper
Every year 4 billion trees are cut down around the world to be utilized in paper intensive industries. You can play your part in reducing forest destruction by going to the library instead of the book store, stopping your paper bank statements in favor of digital ones, being a bit less indulgent on the napkins, and paying your bills online.
6. Go Solar!
Choosing to go solar will reduce your electricity bill, help the environment and allow you and your family to become energy independent. If you can’t install solar at home you can now purchase green energy through your electricity supplier. Make the smart choice and go solar!
7. Reduce your waste
Recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminum keeps landfills from growing. However, you can also save a lot of waste in your kitchen. Meal prepping, freezing fresh and leftover produce for a rainy day can help to minimize the amount of food you throw away. Composting is also a great option, to reduce your impact on the climate while also recycling nutrients.
8. Drive less
Ditching the car and picking up the bicycle is a great move in the direction of pro-environmental behavior, however in Mackay we understand that it isn’t a convenient choice for everyone. So what about ditching that gym membership you never use and start doing an afternoon round trip to the shops, or even riding to work a few days a week? Studies shows cycling can improve your mental, physical and sexual well-being, while keeping the kilometres on the car down low.
Did you know Mackay also has its own carpooling service?
9. Collaborative consumption
Start sharing! Our parents always yelled it at us but now its echo is a valuable component in the movement of environment efficiency. Kitchen appliances, camping equipment, power tools, instruments, clothes, books, cars etc., sharing and borrowing things will save people having to invest in an appliance that they will rarely use. The frugal life can be a smarter life.
10. Stay educated
It’s more important than ever to watch how your actions affect the world we live in. It is our responsibility to stay informed. Signing up to local and national environmental action groups, like Mackay Conservation Group, helps to keep you in the know. Also social media is a powerful platform and opportunity for you to educate yourself and educate others. If you see posts on social media platforms that supports and inspires your pro-environmental values - don’t just like it, share it!
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Did we miss your best save-the-environment tip and tricks? Perhaps YOU have an idea or initiative that is helping to improve people’s lives and protect the planet? Let us know in the comments below!
To read the full article ‘lazy person’s guide to saving the world’, see this link.